Have you guys ever watched a show based on one character? Well that is what brought me here. One of the great things that has happened this year is the release of season 2. It is releasing week to week which I am sort of bummed about because I really would love to sit and binge watch. I was able to watch The Irregular at Magic High School on Hulu. Totally loving their new partnership with Funimation. There is a bunch more anime that I will have time to take in and blog about…
The Irregular at Magic High School was first released as a web novel. That blew my mind. It was published on Shōsetsuka ni Narō, an internet web novel website, between October 2008 and March 2011. It then became a light novel series… which I am STILL working my way through. So much content there so I am hoping for several more seasons… I found the site they had for the web series and I am just going to take in all things that is Shiba Tatsuya.
The Irregular at Magic High School story takes place in an alternate history where magic exists and is polished through technology, and follows Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, a brother and sister who enroll into First High magic high school. The story follows Tatsuya Shiba, a bodyguard to his sister Miyuki Shiba, who is also a candidate to succeed the leadership of the Yotsuba clan, one of the Ten Master Clans that govern Japan’s magicians. They enroll into First High School which segregates its students based on their magical abilities. Miyuki is enrolled as a first course student and is viewed as one of the best students, while Tatsuya is in the second course and considered to be magically inept. However, Tatsuya’s technical knowledge, combat abilities, and unique magic techniques cause people to view him as an irregular to the school’s standardized rankings. I hope I have mentioned before that I love a story with an unsuspecting bad ass.
Maya Yotsuba is their aunt and the current leader of the Yotsuba Clan. She was the reason Tatsuya was born with the unique magic to decompose, reconstruct, and detonate matter. Out of fear of his powers. The Yotsuba Clan leadership of that time decided that Tatsuya must be killed. Miya and Maya decided to come up with a plan to protect him.
So let’s jump into all the things that make the series fun for me. I will skip over the weirdness that exists between Tatsuya and his sister.
- Enrollment Part 1 – This is the first episode and therefore an introduction to the world and the characters. Tatsuya and Miyuki enroll in Magic High School where there is a caste system based on magical ability. Miyuki is a bloom, a first course student and is viewed as one of the best students and her brother Tatsuya is a weed or someone who is weak. The blooms spend a lot of time bullying the weeds… and Tatsuya is a bit of an Irregular (in that he doesn’t seem to care). I always enjoy when a haughty SOB of a character is put in their place. They think they can out perform him but they almost always get put in their place. For Tatsuya, he is just a bit too cool and laid back to care but Miyuki always wants him to show off his skill. The chasm between the Weeds and Blooms leads to a confrontation when a number of Miyuki’s classmates object to her hanging around with her brother and his new friends. Violence seems imminent but the magic sequence is disrupted by the student council president as she arrives with the chairman of the disciplinary committee.
- Enrollment Part II – After Tatsuya and Miyuki are at the center of a school yard fight, that Tatsuya handles masterfully. The President of the Student Council invites Miyuki and Tatsuya to lunch. During lunch, she asks Miyuki to join the Student Council. Miyuki is okay with that but she wants Tatsuya to be given an invitation as well. Mari proposes that Tatsuya be the Student Council’s nominee for a vacant position on the Public Morals Committee, which President Saegusa agrees to. There is some pushback on that since he is a course two student and there has never been a course two student on Student Council. The Vice President has a serious prejudice against Tatsuya and course two students in general. I wonder why he would be allowed to be on the Student Council when he is very vocal about treating half of the student body badly. I mean, Course two students don’t even get teachers because there is a teacher shortage. How are these students supposed to get better? Well the school figures Course one students have ability and therefore that can be honed with training. Anyways Student Council vice-president Hattori opposes Tatsuya’s nomination which prompts Miyuki to defend him. Hattori reprimands her for her seeming bias towards her brother (what a jackass) which causes Tatsuya to challenge him to a magic duel. Tatsuya easily defeats Hattori, much to the surprise of the Student Council. (not a surprise to me or his sister though) And let’s just say it is one my favorite scenes. Watch it here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySnVZWgUnUw)
- Enrollment Part III – Okay… I know what you are thinking… These are the first three episode but really I enjoyed them very much. Usually I suffer through exposition, and this found a way to do this and keep me entertained. As things usually happen in high school, after word of Hattori’s defeat… Tatsuya’s profile raises. Everyone is surprised at how quick Tatsuya defeated Hattori in the duel. Tatsuya begins his work as part of the Disciplinary Committee. The Council cannot reconcile Tatsuya’s flawless victory in his duel with Hattori with his poor showing in the practical exam. I have always thought that he did poorly on purpose to keep a low profile. (I said that in a facebook anime group and those people ate me alive. Fandoms…. can’t live with them… I know that the story is told in such a way that shows he has a set of skills that can’t accurately be quantified but honestly… as the story goes on and on … the things he can do and the fact that you find out what he also does even as a high school student… The list goes on and on… but I digress. Mari introduces Tatsuya to the other members of the Public Morals Committee. His first taste of action involves a confrontation between the kendo club and kenjutsu club. The head of the kenjutsu club, who combines magic with swordplay, forces Sayaka Mibu, a member of the kendo club and Weed, to spar. When he loses, he uses magic in a follow-up attack in a dick move. Tatsuya steps in and arrests him but is assaulted by the rest of the kenjutsu club who refuse to acknowledge his authority just because he is a Weed.
- Nine Schools Competition Part I – The inter-school sporting event known as the “Nine Schools Competition” is just around the corner. The Student Council needs to select engineers. Miyuki volunteers Tatsuya much to the dismay of him and the rest of the student body. Tatsuya demonstrates his skills tuning CAD’s and everyone is in disbelief because he uses the keyboard instead of what is conventional. At this point in the series, I was less surprised at what he could do… I became more surprised at the fact that he was continuously able to evade suspicion. Some of the others complain his methods are too irregular to which Azusa fiercely objects stating she supports his appointment as the skills he demonstrated were so advances she couldn’t hope to mimic them. The student counters that it doesn’t matter if the result is pedestrian. But they find his technique flawless. Tatsuya, in recognition of his superior magic-tuning skills, is named to the engineering squad, over the objections of a number of Course 1 students. So needless to say, he is assigned to the girls team (I get Harem vibes anytime he has to deal with a group of girls but I digress.) because the course 1 boys’ teams want to have nothing to do with him. That comes back to bite them on the ass later.
- Nine Schools Competition Part III – Tatsuya, Miyuki and Juumonji Katsuto act to prevent the car from ramming into the bus the students are on heading to the competition. Tatsuya suspects foul play and is proven right when he determines that the incident was orchestrated to look like a traffic accident but was instead a suicide attack. All the students make it to the competition unscathed. Later, Mikihiko is practicing his magic when he senses intruders. He finds the three intruders and when he decides to attack they notice him. However, their guns mysteriously fall to pieces before they can fire. All three are knocked out by Mikihiko’s magic. Mikihiko senses someone coming and Tatsuya arrives on the scene.
- Visitor Arc Part I – SEASON 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two months after Scorched Halloween incident, Tatsuya and his friends hold a going-away party for Shizuku who will be studying abroad in America. They will be getting an exchange student from America in her place. This was already a read flag for me. Who is this person and will they be causing trouble for Tatsuya and the gang… The answer is obviously yes. Tatsuya had been warned that he needed to keep a low profile after his involvement with Scorched Halloween where he destroyed a military city and fleet on the southern Korean peninsula. Lina is sent as an exchange student but actually she is a spy for the USNA looking for Tatsuya. Although, Tatsuya isn’t fooled for a moment. He comments later on that Lina is not cut out to be a spy. On top of the spy, wo masked figures stand over a woman’s corpse.
- Visitor Arc II – In a downtown Tokyo park, two masked figures stand over a dead woman and discuss how their objective failed as the implantation didn’t take hold and discuss possible reasons for the incompatibility. At First High the students are discussing the bizarre murders where the victims have had their blood drained. Erika speculates it’s a criminal organization trafficking blood. Later that night, Leo is walking around downtown. Leo spots a woman slumped on a bench nearby as he makes his way through a nearby park and goes to check she’s okay. As he gets close, the second masked person attacks him, but their attack is blocked by Leo’s magic defenses. Leo can’t seem to get past the assailants body armor. The fight continues but the assailant grabs Leo’s hand and he suddenly becomes weak. He manages to land a solid blow to the assailant’s abdomen but it’s not decisive and the assailant quickly flees as Sirius (Lina) arrives on scene and chases after them as Leo watches from the floor. Sirius gives chase but loses the parasite. Erika gets an urgent call in the middle of the night. Leo is in hospital and Tatsuya and friends have come to visit him. Tatsuya asks what happened and Leo explains he doesn’t know, he just got weak and he’s lucky Erika’s brother found him.
- Enrollment Arc Part V & VI– Mibu (a student who Tatsuya saved in an earlier episode) tells Tatsuya that her group is planning to let the school know of their thoughts about the discrimination among the students. Students calling themselves the Sympathizer Alliance take over the broadcasting room at First High School. They want to get rid of the caste system. Things get out of hand when Mibu unwittingly allows a terrorist faction on campus and all hell breaks loose. Well they used her. Poor naïve little girl but whatever. Tatsuya and his friends fight the terrorists and stop them before they gathered classified data. Tatsuya wonders about the remaining Blanche members, commenting that he can’t get the police involved as that would mean turning Sayaka for attempted robbery and that he will destroy anyone trying to harm him and his sister. He doesn’t intend to get the Student Council involved, but Miyuki, Erika and Leonhard decide to join him. Learning the location of the Blanche, an organization that has been pulling the strings of these students, Juumonji Katsuto and Kirihara Takeaki decide to join them. Blanche is an International Anti-Magic Political Organization whose manifesto calls for an end to political systems that treat Magicians as superior, and eliminating the difference in treatment caused by the presence of magical abilities.
- Nine Schools Competition Part VI – So the NSC is underway…. Tatsuya has been tasked with being an engineer. I feel bad for the guy because he really wants to keep a low profile which he can not do. The students under Tatsuya’s care are doing better than expected in their events, drawing the attention of those who still can’t acknowledge his talent just because he is a Course 2 student as well as First High School’s main rivals from Third High School. The executives of Third High’s team meet to discuss First High’s rout in Speed Shooting. There Ichijou Masaki explains to his teammates that though Shizuku was on another level, the other two didn’t strike him as being exceptionally skilled. Shinkurou states it’s the engineer and Masaki agrees, saying the one in charge of the girls Speed Shooting must have mind-blowing skills. In Yokohama’s Chinatown, the leaders of the No Head Dragon branch meet to discuss the competition. Third High is supposed to be in the lead for the rookie events. The fact that First High might still win even after they went and engineered Mari’s accident so that she’d withdraw is a thorn in their side. The reason being they are the bookmakers and will lose a lot of money if First High wins. The five men agree they need to act further to avoid this. At the end of the episode, Tatsuya and Miyuki are confronted by Masaki and Shinkurou of Third High School.
- Nine Schools Competition X -Desperate with the recent developments, No Head Dragon starts interfering with the competition directly, risking the lives of the players. A 1st high Mirage Bat participant ends up in an accident which causes physical trauma and consequently loses her magical abilities. If First High wins, then they stand to lose over 100 Million US dollars. Because of this the men decide they cannot be half-hearted anymore and must use more brutal measures to ensure First High doesn’t win, even if it makes their customers suspicious, as long as there is no evidence it’s not a problem. Keiko tries to use her CAD to remain airborne when it shorts out. Keiko tries to use the Cad over and over, but it won’t work, and she falls from the sky, to the horror of the audience, but she’s caught by a member of staff before hitting the ground. Watching on as Keiko is carried away unconscious, Tatsuya concludes Keiko’s career may be over du to the ensuing distrust of magic the accident will cause. Tatsuya is in the queue for the CAD examination When it’s his turn, Tatsuya walks to the desk and places Miyuki’s CAD on the scanner. The check proceeds as normal until during the scan when Tatsuya detects the Cad being tampered with. Enraged, Tatsuya grabs the member of staff and pulls him over the desk before pinning him down. Everyone watching is shocked as more staff come running but hold back when they hear Tatsuya demanding to know what was injected into Miyuki’s CAD and ask if he’s the one behind all the accidents. The CAD is passed to Retsu and he confirms it’s been tampered with, explaining it’s a technique of the Guangdong Army called Golden Electron Silkworms, a delayed sequence that causes the device to malfunction.
- Yokohama Disturbance – Just the whole arc… Following his feats in the Nine Schools Competition, Tatsuya is scouted to participate in another important event, the “Magic Thesis Competition” and his team has only eleven days left to produce the applicable material before the deadline. While gathering the necessary material for the thesis, Tatsuya and his friends start their own investigation on those who are stalking him and was trying to hack him + his Four Leaves company. The Magic Thesis Competition team meets continued success in developing their project, though Erika, Mikihiko, and Leo apprehend a fleeing student, Chiaki Hirakawa, who is revealed to be working as a spy against the First High team. Chiaki admits to working against Tatsuya personally, passionately believing that he is responsible for Kobayakawa’s accident during the Mirage Bat event of the Nine Schools Competition. Lu Gonghu’s attempt to remove Chiaki is thwarted by Watanabe and Naotsugu Chiba. Mr. Zhou visits Chiaki and appears to cast a memory alteration magic so that she will forget about his involvement with her. Saegusa, Watanabe, and Tatsuya go to the detention facility and elicit a confession from Sekimoto on his intention (and unsuccessful attempt) to steal the Magic Thesis project data and locate the relic. Lu Gonghu appears again, apparently to silence Sekimoto, but is defeated by the three and taken into custody. Mr. Zhou helps break out Lu Gonghu. Ichihara visits Chioda and manipulates her to hold onto her feelings of bitterness for Tatsuya, believing that her capabilities will be important. At the convention, Juumonji elects to increase security and have all Joint Security Force members wear a bulletproof vest. The First High Magic Thesis team successfully delivers their presentation. Cardinal George congratulates Tatsuya backstage and claims that his school will defeat them. Before they can begin their presentation however, the convention center is attacked. (I find that wherever Tatsuya is… something is getting attacked. So much is expected of high school students.) The conventional joint defense forces engage the assaulting teams but are bogged down by evacuating the students. Armed assailants assault the main hall, but are easily countered by Tatsuya after he inspires the other students to fight back. Cardinal George confronts Tatsuya on using a top-secret technique used by STARS called Molecular Divider, but Tatsuya ignores him, saying that he doesn’t have time to explain himself. Tatsuya’s group lead the counterattack against the main terrorist force attacking the convention center. Shizuku uses her family’s privilege to take the group to a VIP conference room so they can use the network to get a better idea on what’s going on outside, then meet with the rest of the First High student council members in the green room to discuss their next move. Major Kazama and Fujibayashi arrive and dispatches new orders to Tatsuya, revealing to everyone’s great surprise that he is a JSDF special operative. Major Kazama tells everyone that this is confidential information, and his status must remain secret. Miyuki unlocks the seals on Tatsuya’s powers and sends him to answer the JSDF’s call to defend the city. (Doesn’t it seem odd that he can do all of these things but can’t pass a high school entry exam? Seems odd.) Crimson Prince brutally kills the terrorists while his allies prepare a bus for their escape aboveground. Meanwhile, evacuation underground continues through the tunnels despite resistance. Tatsuya takes to the skies in the flight suit, and begins by destroying the attackers’ recon drones. The battle for the city continues, with notable First High members and Crimson Prince fighting back the attackers. In another group, while they were escaping, an ambush attack causes Kirihara’s leg to be blown off and Kei pierced by shrapnel while protecting their girlfriend. Miyuki arrives, eliminating the attackers and calls for Tatsuya, who uses his magic to restore both Kirihara and Kei before departing to support another area. The students in the helicopter are very curious about Tatsuya’s magic, which healed Kei and Kirihara’s wounds. Miyuki explains Tatsuya’s magic Regrowth, as well as its price: the user has to endure the same pain as the person healed, in a condensed form. Later, Major Kazama authorizes Tatsuya to activate Strategic Class Magic, Material Burst, which converts mass into energy. Tatsuya uses Material Burst on the retreating Great Asian Alliance’s navy, completely annihilating them. Furthermore, he also casts Material Burst onto the Great Asian Alliance departing Navy battalions and their harbor using satellite view and ends the war before it even began. The event is referred to as ‘Scorched Halloween’, the day where magic is recognized as the strongest weapon.
- The Nine Schools Competition VII, VII, and IX – The Nine Schools Competition proceeds until the 1st High School Monolith Code’s junior participants get seriously injured due to foul play. All of a sudden Tatsuya is volunteered again and is basically forced to be the replacements. Tatsuya agrees to it after Juumonji’s persuasion. He decides to participate if he is able to recruit other members of his team. Tatsuya enters the competition with his friends Leonhard Saijo and Mikihiko Yoshida in the “Monolith Code” event. Tatsuya asks Leo to stay on defense, protecting the Monolith from the enemy. Tatsuya then tells Mikihiko he’s on guerrilla tactics to back up both offence and defense. Tatsuya’s first match is against Eighth High on the forest course. Watching on are Crimson Prince and Cardinal George who are surprised Tatsuya has appeared as a player. The match begins and Tatsuya is the first to engage, having run the course at high speed. The match ends with First High’s victory and the freshmen girls are elated at Tatsuya’s victory and congratulate Miyuki. Tatsuya’s team reaches the final match against the 3rd High school’s geniuses Red prince Masaki and Cardinal George. Tatsuya and Masaki’s teams face off in the final match. Before the match, Tatsuya is stretching and reflecting on the upcoming match. Tatsuya thinks that were they to fight without restrictions then he’s not confident he could defeat Ichijou Masaki (The Crimson Prince) alone. The siren signalling the beginning of the match sounds and Masaki instantly starts bombarding Tatsuya with magic, which Tatsuya immediately counters with Gram Demolition while firing spells of his own at Masaki. The pair slowly walk towards each other across the field casting spell after spell. Leo swings his armament device down towards Shinkirou and is about to take him down but misses due to taking a blast from Masaki. Shinkurou then uses gravity magic to pin Mikihiko down. But when Masaki returns his sight to Tatusya he has almost completely closes the gap in an instant. The shock causes Masaki to launch an unadjusted spell which was lethal force at Tatsuya. Tatsuya immediate sprins onto action and acrobatically manoeuvres to blow away as many of Masaki’s shots as possible but is unable to get them all and is hit by the last two. For his part the Crimson Prince is at least remorseful for his actions. Masaki is in a panic as he’s realised that he used too much force. The massive damage triggers Tatsuya’s Regrowth and he instantly restores the damage. Tatsuya then leans in towards Masaki before he can react and snaps his finger, amplifying the sound with magic. The sound is so intense that even the audience is forced to cover their ears. Everyone watches on in amazement as Masaki falls, defeated and Tatsuya collapses to one knee to catch his breath. (Has to be my most favorite moment.) Meanwhile, Mikihiko faces off against Cardinal George in a lengthy duel, Mikihiko finally defeats George, but is on the verge of losing to the third member of Masaki’s team, when Leo manages to deliver the final blow, allowing First High to win the match.
- Nine Schools Competition Part XI – I just like that Tatsuya takes out the No Head Dragon here. I mean seriously. This ruthless group has been attacking high school students. The gang decide to unleash a modified human with hopes of causing a massacre but they are foiled by two men and a woman. Let me tell you… I don’t feel any kind of way. Because of the No Head Dragon’s constant interference, and there hand in several students injuries, Tatsuya’s had enough. Tatsuya tells Miyuki he is going to bed as he’s tired. Tatsuya meets with Ono Haruka in an underground parking lot. Tatsuya asks for the details of the members of the No Head Dragon. (Not a good sign.) The leaders of No Head Dragon are discussing their options, having not expected Japanese special forces to intervene. One states their top priority should be getting rid of Tatsuya. Another man states they can’t figure out anything from Tatsuya’s background, they couldn’t get at any of his personal data. They wonder who on earth he is. Meanwhile Tatsuya has used an elevator and is on a roof and takes aim and casts a spell, creating a hole in the wall of the No Head Dragon base and causing one of the Generators to collapse in pain. The five leaders all look over at the hole and see the Generator who fell disintegrate as he stood back up. The men are stunned in shock until the rooms telephone starts ringing. One of them answers and Tatsuya greets them, making it clear he knows who they are. Tatsuya simply thanks them for that day in Fuji and tells them he’s come to return the favour. Tatsuya then disintegrates another of the Generators. Gregory flips the table to create cover as another grabs a rifle and asks one of the two remaining Generators where Tatsuya is. There is a brief pause in the attack and Douglas Huang tries to negotiate with Tatsuya by saying they won’t interfere with the Nine School Games anymore. Tatsuya simply states they end tomorrow regardless. Douglas offers to withdraw the No Head Dragon from Japan. Douglas is the last one alive, and he asks why, when they never went as far as to kill anyone. Tatsuya simply explains he doesn’t care what they did, all that matters is they incurred his wrath which is enough to warrant their deaths. Douglas calls Tatsuya a demon and Tatsuya causally responds that he was able to draw out this demonic power because they drew out his one remaining emotion.
- Visitor Arc VII – If you didn’t think that Tatsuya was OP before…. you really get to see it in this episode. Colonel Balance orders Lina to capture the caster who was behind Scorched Halloween. (Tatsuya) Balance gives Lina a custom-made device called “the Brionac” which converts Strategic-Class magic into a beam of high-energy plasma. The thing is Tatsuya was warned to be on the lookout… and as a result there is no sneaking up on him. After dropping his sister off at her piano lesson he sits at a coffee shop and he can sense soldiers coming from miles away. You would think they could have done better research than they did. When the ambush at the coffee shop fails, Lina brings out the big gun and narrowly misses vaporizing my love. Like the gentleman he is… Tatsuya leads Lina to a deserted clearing… but he makes it absolutely clear that he has no intention on turning himself in. Lina again uses the Brionac and since Tatsuya doesn’t have time to counter…. his arm is blown off. And poor Lina thinks she has the upper hand. Lina gives him time to surrender which prompts Tatsuya to ask… “If I was your prisoner, what would you do with me? Human experimentations? It doesn’t really need to be said, but I refuse to be your guinea pig?” When Lina takes aim again… Tatsuya reveals that his arm has been regenerated and repaired. He plunges his weapon into the Brionac dismantling it and suprising Lina. It is not long before Lina is overpowered and disarmed. On some level, I felt bad for Lina. She never had a chance.
Because of the success of Irregular at Magic High School, it has spawn several side stories and spin offs. I have yet to take in all of these but with the way things are looking around here. I am going to be home for a bit so I might as well break into these but here is the list for anyone who wants to know.
- The Honor Student at Magic High School – A manga spin-off of the immensely popular light novel series The Irregular at Magic High School, The Honor Student at Magic High School follows the events of the original series as seen through the eyes of Miyuki Shiba, Tatsuya’s sister. Not sure if it is a retelling of events from the original story through her eyes or not. But could be an interesting read.
- Mikihiko’s Story: Prisoner of The Dragon God – Apparently it was published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE Volume 41. It is a short story about Yoshida Mikihiko which takes place during the 2096AD Nine Schools Competition. Mikihiko reflects his current situation and upon an event in his childhood where he tries to summon a dragon. This short story was later released as part of the Irregular at Magic High School SS Light Novel.
- Eimi’s Story: Shotgun! – Shotgun! was first published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE Volume 42. The story follows Akechi Eimi and Kunisaki Kumiko during the 2096AD Nine Schools Competition, as they prepare for and enter the competitions new Rowers and Gunners Event together. This short story was later released as part of the Irregular at Magic High School SS Light Novel.
- Kanon and Shizuku’s Story: I Can Do It Alone –I Can Do It Alone was first published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE Volume 42 The short story follows Chiyoda Kanon and Kitayama Shizuku during the 2096AD Nine Schools Competition, as the pair have to work together in the Ice Pillar Break Event.
- Kuroba Twin’s Story: Mission to Draw Attention– Mission to Draw Attention was first published in Dengeki Bunko MAGAZINE Volume 43. This story focuses on Kuroba Ayako and Kuroba Fumiya who are given a mission by Yotsuba Maya to draw attention towards themselves and away from the Shiba siblings as they compete for Fourth High during the 2096AD Nine Schools Competition.
So that is all I will say on this series for now. I love the main character. I have a thing for the under cover bad ass. So much so that I am still collecting the light novels in the series. I am hoping for a few more seasons. But that is all for now.